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23-12-2019 15:51 | Read 4794 times

Top student stopped from getting award

THE Greek Cypriot administration has been accused of “racism” after a 15-year old TRNC-based Turkish student was prevented from crossing the border into South Cyprus to collect an award for scoring the highest grade in the world in her IGCSE Turkish language exam.

Top student stopped from getting award


Chief Reporter

Meral Berilsu, a year 10 student at the Bülent Ecevit Anadolu state high school, was stopped by Greek Cypriot officials from entering South Cyprus to attend the recent awards ceremony in Lemon Park, South Nicosia, at the invitation of the UK-based exam body Pearson Edexcel.

Speaking to Cyprus Today school head teacher Sibel Karakaya said: “Meral is a fantastic, hard-working student. . . She worked very hard for the success and came first in the world in the Pearson Edexcel exam. . . The excuse that they would not allow her to cross even though the state notified them it was to collect an educational award – simply because she is Turkish – is racism.”

Teachers attending the event from another TRNC state school in Lefkoşa, Türk Maarif College, were asked to collect the award and medal on Meral’s behalf, Ms Karakaya said.

“It may be a good idea to have such ceremonies in the [UN] buffer zone, therefore not requiring students to go to South Cyprus, because of the policy of the Greek Cypriot side,” she added.

News of the ban prompted representatives of organisations in the TRNC, including human rights groups, to hold a protest outside the British High Commission’s Lefkoşa offices on Mehmet Akif Caddesi on Monday to condemn the move.

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